2021-07-18 05:25:32 This Is What The Historic Anti-Government Protests In Cuba Look Like

This Is What The Historic Anti-Government Protests In Cuba Look Like

Protests against the Cuban government erupted this week in response to a lack of access to food and basic medical supplies, as COVID cases increased.

As a result of long-standing US sanctions restricting access to basic goods and financing, as well as decades of government corruption and mismanagement, the country has suffered from massive inflation and long blackouts, which have been exacerbated by a drop in tourism during the pandemic.

Protests began on Sunday and have quickly spread across the country, as thousands of Cubans are frustrated by food and basic supply shortages. “Our children are dying of hunger,” yelled one protester in a Facebook video. Another video on Twitter appeared to show protesters calling for a “system change.”

The protests were the largest in recent memory, and government forces, which are usually quick to repress protests, struggled at first to maintain control. Some musicians, who, like other artists, faced repercussions for speaking out, issued statements in support of the protesters.

Intermittent internet outages, as well as harassment and detention of journalists, have made verifying events on the ground difficult; however, photos and videos have emerged showing both uniformed and plainclothes officers beating protesters with batons and appearing to shoot at them. At least one person has been killed, and according to Amnesty International, at least 150 others have gone missing and may have been detained.

While the government appears to have softened its stance by lifting a tax on goods imported to the island, this may not be enough to quell the protests. “No, we’re not interested in crumbs. We want freedom. To be able to import a few more suitcases, no blood has been spilled in Cuban streets,” tweeted blogger and government critic Yoan Sánchez.

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This Is What The Historic Anti-Government Protests In Cuba Look Like